Singapore’s hawker centre actually has some yummy low-calorie hawker food options.
Keeping in mind that McSpicy is 528 calories, hawker dishes like seafood fried rice (907 cal) and char kway teow (744 cal) give a bad rep to all the other hawker dishes out there. Many people think you need to stay away from hawker foods to lose weight.
But nope, there’s quite a number of hawker foods that you can eat without worrying about your diet. We picked hawker dishes that range from around 300 – 450 calories each, perfect for those intending to go on a healthier diet. Find out which hawker delights you should be eating instead.
A typical kaya toast set at Ya Kun piles on 448 calories. Switch that up with a char siew pau (160 cal) and teh c kosong (26 cal) to shave off 272 calories.
But know that not all paus are equal. Stay away from pork paus as they carry a hefty 301 calories a piece.
Mee goreng is such a great comfort food, with starchy spicy noodles, sliced fish cake, and the occasional bit of stir-fried green for small bursts of freshness. It’s maybe only marginally better than instant noodles and packs 613 calories.
Plain fried beehoon is just 294 calories, and if you throw in a fried chicken wing (163 cal), it’s a total of 457, saving you 157 calories.
Surprisingly, dry fishball noodles (474 cal) have less calories than when served in soup (523 calories). It’s good news for those who prefer their noodles dry as they can save on about 50 calories easily this way.
Ask for no lard if you wanna trim down on the fat and calories even more.
Prata looks innocent. It’s so flat and thin you’d almost think it’d have around the same number of calories at buttered toast, but no. One prata is 164 calories. Got a plain one and an egg prata? It’s 481 calories, and that’s not even including the curry.
A better option is prata’s cousin, thosai (97 cal). It has a crepe like consistency and is great with some coconut chutney (86 cal). If you think it’s not filling enough, get the masala thosai (362 cal) which is stuffed with potatoes. This way you save around 119 – 298 calories.
Make a popiah (187 cal) your mid-afternoon snack instead of fried spring rolls which are super addictive and calorie-laden (396 cal per serving of two).
Your body will be thanking you for the 209 calories saved.
Sure, economy rice is great for dieting, especially if you order two vegetables and one stir-fried meat. But we found that you can slash the calories even more with some wholesome porridge.
We’re sure you’re not surprised to hear that traditional desserts like chendol (386 cal) and ice kachang (256 cal) are full of empty calories that make you gain weight faster.
Well it’s hard to avoid them completely especially when the craving hits, but swap them out with ice grass jelly (121 cal) or ice jelly cocktail (152 cal) to cut back on around 104 – 264 calories.
Hankering for chicken cutlet or pork chop at your closest western food stall?
Get chicken, mutton, or duck soup (all under 390 cal), or maybe some bak kut teh (323 cal). It may not hit the spot 100%, especially if you’re craving for grilled or roasted meats, but it’s a good compromise for those on a diet.
By Sara Mahendran, April 2018, Her World Singapore/ Updated by Jashleen Kaur, December 2020
More on The Finder:
6 Cafes To Check Out In BEDOK Even If You Don’t Live In Singapore’s East Side
The ESSENTIAL Guide To Ordering Kopitiam Drinks
The Calories In These 9 Common Singaporean Hawker Centre Dishes Will SURPRISE You
The Beginner’s Guide to Asian Pastries and Traditional Desserts in Singapore That Locals Love
10 Hidden Cafes In The North Of Singapore That’ll Make You Wish You Lived There